Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Albert Pi-nstein Day!

Monday is March 14th and it is affectionately known to science and math geeks everywhere as Pi Day!  Pi Day is an actual holiday for me because it's an excuse to bake something pie related and is both a celebration of Pi and the birth of one of my favorite scientists, Albert Einstein who would be turning 132 this year.  I wanted to do something a little different, no shocker there, and came across this recipe for Apple Pie Cookies.  I noticed a few ways to improve upon it based on the comments and wanted to put my own spin on it as well.  The result is DELICIOUS! I made a batch to bring into work and some extra for Mr. Sprinkles.  I hope you like them as much as we do.  Enjoy!

Apple Pi Cookies
Makes 2 dozen

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups diced fresh apples (2 parts granny smith and 1 part red delicious)
  • 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped 
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and maple syrup. With the mixer on low speed, gradually blend in the flour mixture. Once all flour has been incorporated, stir in apples and pecans.
  4. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies are browned around the edges. Cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Since the apples let off more moisture as time goes by, these cookies will start to stick together slightly after a day of being stored in an airtight container. To prevent this, as well as to make the cookies easier to eat, layer them with pieces of wax paper or parchment paper. 

Science Cookie Send Off

My science teacher buddy at my school had a baby recently and I had the pleasure of working with Erin, her maternity leave sub, who was a fantastic teacher and fellow science geek.  Recently, Erin had her last day with us and I knew it was the perfect opportunity to create a cookie I've been dying to craft...Atom Cookies!  They are a basic chocolate cut out cookie with a bit more cinnamon added as the reviews said the cookie was a bit bland.  Maybe I'll add a little clove or chili powder next time.  I used royal icing to create the well known Rutherford atom model and Wilton pearlized sugar sprinkles for electrons.  They have a nice crunch and don't hurt your teeth like those little silver ball sprinkles are known to do.

Hydrogen, Helium, and Lithium
Atomic Chocolate Cut Outs (adapted from Martha Stewart's Chocolate Cut Out Recipe)
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon into a bowl.
  2. Place butter and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Turn dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Form dough into a disk on the paper and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  3. Lift baking mat from baking sheet. Roll out dough between baking mat and plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap. Cut out cookies with a 2 1/2 inch flower shaped cookie cutter. Transfer baking mat to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove baking sheet from freezer and trim scraps. Reroll scraps between a nonstick baking mat and plastic wrap and repeat process.
  5. Bake cookies until crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
  6. Once cooled use royal icing to create 3 orbitals (oval shapes) and add pearl sugar electrons. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.